Submission edit history

Hi Team this is one off topic question with pretty easy answer I assume, but any response is always appreciated.

I have a case here, lets say I have a form with some hidden fields which are dependent on other field

Now I select Yes in Main field and No in the dependent field, and submit the form.

No I edit the submitted form and select No on Main Field here and submit the form again

Now after editing it again, when I select Yes in main field, the dependent field’s data is lost too

I am pretty sure this is intentional, but just wanted to confirm from the community, that is it meant to be like this, does it not mean a loss of data, because from business perspective this is totally fine, but from technical POV, just wanted to know if the data from database is lost after ‘No’ is submitted here.

Any response is always appreciated.

Hello @ryanend,
As far as I know:

  • A relevant clause will hide the data until save.
  • But on save, all non-relevant items get deleted. So, even before submission, e.g. by re-edit, you can not get them back.

Technically, I cannot say, if deletion is done on save or on any re-opening. Maybe someone from the core team? @Kal_Lam, @Josh, @Xiphware


Hi @wroos
It seems the deletion happens on save in this case. You have, however summed up the issue quite clearly on this one



Hi @wroos, @ryanend, to comment on the technical side, the history of the submission is actually still stored in the database and only lost if the submission itself is deleted, however this is yet to be exposed in an API endpoint – we’ve just discussed this as a possibility to include sometime in the future.


Dear @Josh,
Does this mean also, the form (edit) history is stored before any submission is done? In the local KoBo/ODK folder?
Or did you only talk after submission and following edit/save on server level?
Kind regards

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Dear @stephanealoo,
Could someone verify, please, if it is technically on save already?
It will make a difference for manual data transfer from local KoBo/ODK files.
We have a similar question for the exact point of (re-)calculations.
Kind regards

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Hi @wroos, this is only on the KoBo server side – not related ODK. The history of deployed forms is accessible through the API. What I was referring to above is editing a submission that has already been sent to KoBo, either using the bulk edit or single submission edit features.


Hi Team, really appreciate all the responses, but just following up on the question, so is this intentional to discard the hidden field’s data after the form is being edited?


Hi @ryanend, yes, I believe this is the case :+1:


As a workaround: You may create and deploy a new version of the form for edit: changing the hidden fields to another type, e.g. text.

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